Cooking Up a Storm

In Ithaca, New York, Robin Botie photoshops landscapes from tabouleh and salmon.“Send me a picture of snow-laden trees,” my friend in Paris pleaded. But I was tired of seeing snow, of freezing my fingers as I traipsed through snowdrifts to photograph more snow. And another storm was coming. It was due on Valentines Day, a holiday I was trying hard to forget.

When a storm collides with a holiday it is impossible for me to override the urge to hunt-and-gather at Wegmans, hunker down at home, and cook huge quantities of comfort food. Shopping at Wegmans  erases any nervous commotion in my head, and all the miserable things going on in the world fade. It’s like coming home to mom. Wegmans is my go-to at the first flash of a Winter Storm Watch.

On Saturday, Wegmans looked like a Valentines Day theme park with huge displays of flowers and shiny red boxes of chocolates. The aisles were packed with people loading up for the minus 12 degrees and 4 to 8 inches of snow predicted for the Finger Lakes. The 5 things I came in for turned into 20 as I considered what else I might need to survive the holiday/storm combo. In the wilds of winter, I had a desperate longing for berries, tabouleh with fresh mint, and baked salmon. I picked up a bright bouquet of daisies and red carnations thinking I should get over my Valentines funk and buy myself a gift. But I put it down quickly; it had no scent and I couldn’t eat it.

So I came home and cooked up a storm.

When the scene outside my window whited out in a snowsquall, I found a fresh landscape in my refrigerator.

 

What do you do to pamper yourself in a storm?

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12 thoughts on “Cooking Up a Storm

  1. Sheila Enstine

    Hey Robin,

    That fish dish looks scrumptious.

    During a storm I heat up a bowl of home-made chicken soup and sip it while curled up in soft brown blanket. The cats take turns nestling with me.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Good storm fixings: homemade chick soup. I wonder how many cats you can snuggle with? Hopefully our winter storm days are done for the season. It’s great to hear from you, Sheila. Thanks for still being out there and for reading. Cheers!

      Reply
  2. Elaine Mansfield

    I make sure I have plenty of firewood inside so I don’t have to go outside to get it at 6 am. A well stacked pile of firewood has its own beauty.
    Vic and I didn’t make a thing of Valentine’s Day–and still the media and commercial hype is difficult. Good thing is the color. Now we’re on to Easter pastels at Wegmans.
    Mostly I enjoy the begging Mallards in the parking lot. Stay warm. Spring will come.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I love those ducks in Wegmans lots. Uh, Easter already? Hard to imagine with all this snow piling up. I do remember when a fresh stack of firewood was a beautiful site. Oh those days. But Elaine, seriously, we can’t have Easter until we get rid of some of this snow. Thank you for being out there, up the road somewhere north, on Twitter and FB, and here on my site. Until we meet again in person, cheers!

      Reply
  3. Lynne Taetzsch

    Thanks for your take on Valentine’s Day, Robin. I was feeling angry at all the valentines thrust at us everywhere I turned. But Wegman’s riches is another thing! I, too, recently almost bought a bouquet for myself there, and then didn’t! You made a beautiful bouquet/landscape of food.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Well I’m going to get that flower bouquet sooner or later, Lynne. In this cold gray weather I NEED flowers. The ones that smell. I have to get over the idea that I need to eat everything I see in order to feel happy. Keep cozy and warm.

      Reply
  4. SusanB

    Healing is found in many things if we are motivated to heal, and it seems you are and that is why I like to read what you write Robin. Your “pampering” seems more “surviving” in a wild and freaky snowstorm on a day in February when people gather near the hearts they love. I know your heart yearns for your sweet daughter and you’re doing what you must until the day you are reunited with her. Your writing is uplifting although I know your tears fall upon your keyboard. For you, I wish all the opportunities to shop and cook and walk and photograph and write that you need to nurture the courage and appreciation to live a life that makes your daughter very proud of you.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Many cheers, Susan. You got it when you said “live a life that makes your daughter very proud of you.” I know you are several steps ahead of me, living a life your Nicholas would be proud of too. Courage and more courage. Thank you so much for keeping up with me. I look forward to hearing from you on your site and on mine. Cheers!

      Reply
  5. Annette Corth

    Robin,

    You had me a little puzzled on this one until I realized that the “landscape’ was indeed of food. I looked at the fish and thought it was avery strange type of snow, and then it came to me what I was really seeing. I’m ready to go grocery shopping any time you are. Stay warm. Love, Annette

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Ready for Wegmans almost any time, Annette. But first things first – I owe you a field trip. Of course a little bit of Wegmans to have road food for the car probabaly makes sense. Cheers!

      Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      More snow and cold coming. Time to head back to Wegmans. Have you ever tried Whole Food markets? Ultimate field trip there too. Cheers!

      Reply

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